The following is a list of frequently asked questions about writing grants.

If you'd like further assistance, please contact the Grants and Sponsored Projects Office at bayers@winona.edu or call 507.457.5519.

WSU Information

What's our official address?

Winona State University
175 W. Mark Street (P.O. Box is 5838)
Winona, MN 55987-3384

When were we first authorized to award degrees?


When were we first accredited?

1913 by NCACSS. The current accreditation authoritative body is the Higher Learning Commission.

Institutional Numbers

What's our UEI number? 

MQBGMELWH9M3. The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is the official identifier used to do business with the federal government, such as submitting grant proposals and drawing grant funds. 

What's our DUNS number?

806782405. A Dun & Bradstreet DUNS Number is a unique nine-digit number recognized as the universal standard for identifying a business entity. Its use will end on April 4, 2022 and be replaced by the UEI.

What's our EIN (Employee Identification Number) / federal entity number / TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number)?

41-1687554. This same number can be referred to as an EIN, federal entity number, or TIN. It’s issued by the IRS and is like a Social Security Number for businesses.

What's our research misconduct IPF (Institutional Profile File) number?

1053806. The Institutional Profile File number is assigned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to track institutional grants activity.

The Public Health Service also uses the IPF number to track whether or not an institution has established an administrative procedure for responding to allegations of research misconduct.

What's our human subjects Federalwide Assurance (FWA) number?

FWA00000275. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections assigns an FWA approval number to each campus of a university.

What's our human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) HRRC (Human Research Review Committee) registration number?

IRB00001133. Every IRB on a campus is registered upon filing for a Federal Wide assurance number and each IRB is assigned an IRB (HRRC) number.

What's our human subjects IORG Identifier number?

IORG0000776. The IRB Organization (IORG) number identifies the organization when it files or updates its Federalwide Assurances (FWA).

What's the difference between a human subjects IORG, an FWA number and an IRB HRRC registration number?

The IORG number identifies the institution. The university has only one IORG number. FWA (Federalwide Assurance) numbers identify the branch campuses that have filed assurances that they will comply with the federal regulations covering the protection of human subjects.

Each branch campus has an FWA number. (WSU has one FWA number. WSU-Rochester is not technically a branch campus.) The IRB HRRC number is the registration number identifying each IRB on campus. Institutions may have multiple IRBs.

What's our animal care and use Assurance Identification Number?

D19-01055, effective on Apr. 12, 2019. The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) reviews and approves Winona State’s assurance of compliance with the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

What's our USDE OPE (U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education) number?

00239400 or 002394-00. The number is assigned by the U.S. Department of Education to identify schools eligible to participate in federal student financial assistance programs under Title IV.

What are our national and state legislative districts?

First U.S. Congressional District
Minnesota State Senate District 31
Minnesota State Senate District 31A

If I can apply myself, do I still need to get signatures of approval on my application before I submit?

Yes! You still need to complete Transmittal Process Form before you submit a grant application online. (You'll need your StarID to login.) Grants and Sponsored Projects uses the form to secure the signatures of those committing release time or funds to the project, if needed, as well as signatures of supervisors.

Next, Grants and Sponsored Projects will sign off and secure the signatures of the budget director, president or vice president.

What is grants.gov, and do I need to register to use it?

The Grants.gov website is the centralized electronic system for finding and applying for federal grants. All program announcements are posted there. WSU is registered as a grants.gov user. Individual grant writers do not have to register separately. However not all agencies use grants.gov for electronic applications.

Check your application information carefully and let Grants and Sponsored Projects know if you will be using a different application system.

What is ERA Commons, and do I need to register to use it?

ERA Commons is the National Institutes of Health electronic grants processing system. When you apply to NIH through grants.gov, the application is transferred to ERA Commons for additional verifications.

If there are application errors, you will need to login to ERA Commons to find out what they are. Contact Grants and Sponsored Projects to create an account.

What is the HRSA Electronic Handbook?

The HRSA Electronic Handbook is the Health Resources and Services Administration electronic grants processing system. Self-register to access the system to validate applications submitted through grants.gov.

Do other federal agencies have separate electronic systems?

It varies from agency to agency. Some simply use Grants.gov. The best rule of thumb is to check what electronic application system is involved as soon as you find an opportunity and contact Grants and Sponsored Projects well in advance of applying.

Plan on submitting proposals early because these systems can get bogged down with last-minute submissions.

Will the Grants & Sponsored Office help me write a grant?

Absolutely! We'll help you find funding sources, provide institutional information, assist in budget preparation, and provide editorial advice.

Can I sign a grant proposal and submit it on my own?

No. Applications must be signed by someone who has the legal authority to sign contracts on behalf of the university. That authority is vested in the president and the president's designees. The Grants and Sponsored Projects director reviews applications on their behalf and secures their signatures.

Can I sign off on a fellowship request on my own?

There are some funding sources that award fellowships directly to individuals, rather than the university. Check with the Grants and Sponsored Projects Office or funding source directly if you have questions.

How do I get my grant application approved?

Complete the Transmittal Process Form. (You'll need your StarID to login.) Grant writers need to secure the signatures of those committing release time or funds to the project, if needed. Grants and Sponsored Projects will sign and secure the signatures of the president or vice president.

What's the difference between a grant and a gift?

In a nutshell, grants are written contracts with terms and conditions of awards. Gifts are generally irrevocable transfers of assets. For a more formal definition, review WSU's definitions of Grants vs. Gifts (PDF).

What's our federally negotiated indirect cost rate?

It is 42.80% of salaries, wages and fringe benefits (provisional as of Aug. 1, 2019, until amended). The federal government basically sets the rate based on financial information we provide.

When was our rate last approved?

May 1, 2021, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services representative Arif M. Karim. Review the Facilities & Administrative Costs Agreement ("indirect costs" or "administrative costs") (PDF).

How does WSU distribute the indirect costs received?

15% - Department of the Principal Investigator or Project Director
10% - College of the Principal Investigator or Project Director
15% - Library
25% - Administration (Business Office)
35% - Grants and Sponsored Projects

How do I determine salary figures in grant proposals for current faculty and staff?

For current employees, contact Human Resources for base salary figures and (assuming the grant funding period will be for the next fiscal year) add 2%. For new positions, Human Resources can supply a figure based on the type of position involved. In multi-year proposals, increase the annual salary by 2% each year.

For release time, do I request salary for myself or for an adjunct replacement?

The funding sources establish what they will allow. If they will pay your salary and you have an academic year teaching load of 24 credits, each credit hour release is equal to 1/24 of your annual base salary. Adjunct pay rates are established in the faculty contract.

How do I calculate duty day pay for faculty?

Divide the base salary by 168 days.

What are fringe benefits and how do I determine a rate for faculty and staff?

In addition to payroll deductions, WSU contributes to employees' FICA (social security and Medicare), retirement accounts and health insurance benefits. Rates vary according to individual employees' health insurance needs.

For current employees, we can contact Fiscal Affairs for individual fringe benefit rates. For new employees or for a single rate to cover more than one employee, use 40% of salaries and wages. Different rates apply for faculty pay in the summer and for adjunct salaries. In multi-year proposals, increase the fringe benefit rate by 20% each year.

Are fringe benefit rates different for faculty during the summer?

Yes. Because most faculty choose to be paid on a twelve-month basis, extra health insurance benefits are not deducted during the summer. Use a rate of 20%.

What fringe benefit rate do I use for faculty duty day pay?

Since this is above the base, use 16.5%.

What fringe benefit rate should I use for adjunct salaries?

If they will be teaching less than six hours, use 7.65% to cover FICA.

What do I pay student workers?

Work study students are paid $10.33 an hour. Student help may be paid more depending upon the qualifications required. If the student works less than 60 hours per pay period and is enrolled for at least six credits (undergraduates) or three credits (graduate), no fringe benefits are paid.

In the summer, if the student is not enrolled in classes or is working more than 60 hours per pay period, use 7.65% to cover FICA (although this may change as the Affordable Care Act is implemented). If the student is taking at least three credits and working less than 60 hours per pay period, no fringe benefits are needed.